George Whiting 1830-1919

Parents: David Whiting and Sarah Ragg (1)
Born: 18th June 1830 in Burton End, Haverhill. (1)
Baptised: 22nd August 1830 at St Mary's Parish Church, Haverhill. (1)
Married: Susannah Turner, of Puddlebrook, Haverhill, daughter of James Turner, weaver, in 1862(2)
Children: David Whiting b.1864, Charles Whiting b.1867 and Sarah Whiting b.1881 died in infancy(3,4)
Died: 31st December 1919 in Haverhill. Buried on 3rd January 1920 at Haverhill Cemetery.(8)

Bio: George is living in Burton End, Haverhill with his parents and siblings on the 1841 census. He is in the same situation for the 1851 census, living at home with her parents and younger sister Eliza. He is working as an agricultural labourer. Again, on the 1861 census he living with his parents David and Sarah - the last of their children to be doing so.

George married the next year to Susannah Turner, the daughter of James and Hannah Turner. I couldn't find a record of this marriage in any of the Haverhill church registers, just the GRO marriage register. They stayed living in Burton End, which is where they are on the 1871 census. George's father David is living with them, now a widower and in his eighties. They also have two sons, David and Charles.

George's career path was to take a new direction, for in the Petty Sessions of 25th June 1877, we find 'The Royal Standard, Haverhill, from Eliza Blackshire to - Whiting'.(11) He'd decided to run a beerhouse.

George's fondness for beer, whether for recreational purposes or otherwise is alluded to earlier than this in 1865. The Bury and Norwich Post reports how Joseph Coote,16, labourer of Little Wratting, was charged with obtaining goods under false pretences at the Petty Sessions on 21st December.(12) He'd obtained a 1-gallon can of beer, value 20s, from the house of Samuel Nunn, beerseller, of Haverhill, on 5th July 1865. Coote had said it was for George Whiting, to which George replied 'What can?' when word got round to him. Samuel had asked Joseph Coote who had ordered him to come for the beer, and he'd replied 'George Whiting, and he will pay for it!'. George deposed 'I know nothing about it: I did not order it!'. The charge was read over, and the prisoner had nothing to say. A fair cop - Joseph pleaded guilty and got one month in prison. Nice trick if you can get away with it. It is useful in that it shows George's connection with the beer trade; Samuel Nunn was obviously not suprised that George would want a gallon of beer as he did in fact hand it over. How much of the gallon of beer was left before Joseph Coote got found out, we do not know!

In Kelly's Directory 1879 we find him listed as a beer retailer(5) and on the 1881 census he is still in Burton End, but his abode is now the 'Standard. His job is still listed as labourer, but we can assume this was more of a sideline. With him and his wife are his sons David and Charles. George and Susannah had a daughter, Sarah on 6th November 1881, who was baptised five days later at St Mary's church. She does not appear on later censuses and therefore I feel she died in infancy.(4) At the time of Sarah's birth, George's occupation on the parish register is given as Publican, and his address 80 Burton End.

George's next brush with the law found him on the wrong side on 22nd May 1882. He was charged with an 'infringement of licence' at the Clare Petty Sessions for unlawfully keeping open his licensed premises at half-past nine on Sunday morning, 7th May, and was fined 12s with 8s costs which he duly paid.(13) The reason for keeping the beerhouse open? Samuel Whiting, who was fined the same amount for being on the said premises at the hour named. To these distant relatives, having a drink and a catch-up obviously seemed more preferable to attending church on that particular sunday.

It seems that George must have been doing reasonably well for himself. As well as living at and running a pub he owned a property in Burton End, perhaps the one he'd lived in before The Standard. Unfortunately it was in a bad state of repair and a surveyor's report stated that 'an unoccupied Cottage belonging to Mr George Whiting, at the end of Dearsley's property, at Burton End, was in a very dangerous condition and likely to fall. - The Chairman said it had better be referred to the highway committee.- Mr Basham thought the matter should be dealt with at once, and it was ultimately resolved that the Clerk should serve the owner with notice to pull down the cottage or make it secure.'(14) It's not clear which course of action George decided to take.

In Kelly's Directory of 1888 we see George listed as a beer retailer in Burton End.(9)

By 1891 we find George and family residing in 78 Burton End, The Royal Standard. During the time he was a beerseller his address seemed to move to numbers adjacent to the pub as well as living in it at various points. He still combines beerselling with farm labour. Living with George and Susannah is their son Charles, a labourer, and son David, a carpenter, his wife Emma and their daughter Sarah. Also living with them is a lodger, Alice Whiting, 17, who I believe is the daughter of Jesse and Ellen Whiting. Jesse was the son of Joseph and Rebecca Whiting.

In White's Directory 1892, George is listed as being the proprietor of a beer house in Burton End.(6) George's wife Susannah died in February 1897 at the age of 57 and was buried at Haverhill Cemetery. At some point before the next census George must have relinquished his duties at The Royal Standard, because a distant relative John Whiting is publican at that time. Although this Pub no longer exists in Haverhill, it was open until at least the 1950's as an application for license renewal was made on 23rd April 1956.(7) In actual fact later on the Royal Standard was rebuilt elsewhere in Haverhill as a modern pub, although this one has since been knocked down too.

On the 1901 census George, now a widower, is living with his son David and his family at 32 Burton End. He is working as a general labourer, with no mention of work as a beerseller.

Ten years pass and George stays with David and Emma. He is 80 on the 1911 census and is living with them at 31 Burton End.

George lived to the grand old age of 89, dying on 31st December 1919 at 75 Burton End(10). He was buried in Haverhill Cemetery on 3rd January 1920. strangely, although his burial is registered there seems to be no record for him on the GRO Death Register. He is on the National Probate calendar, however. Administration (with will) was granted to his widow, Emma Whiting on 19th June 1919 with effects of £118(10).

Picture of the Royal Standard with kind permission of Haverhill Local History Group.


(1) Suffolk Records Office, Bury St Edmunds, Parish Registers of St Mary's Church, Haverhill. Fiche 578/4/p8 of 37
(2) Marriage Register. 1st Quarter 1862, Risbridge District, Volume 4a Page 433
(3) Suffolk Records Office, Bury St Edmunds, Parish Registers of St Mary's Church, Haverhill. Fiche 578/4/p15 of 37
(3) Birth Register. 4th Quarter 1881, Risbridge District, Volume 4a Page 544
(4) Death Register. 2nd Quarter 1862, Risbridge District, Volume 4a Page 295
(5) Kelly's Directory 1879, Suffolk, Haverhill, p.871.
(6) White's Directory 1892, Suffolk, Haverhill, p.384
(7) Suffolk Records Office, Bury St Edmunds, New Licences. Royal Standard BA 500/C1/53 23 April 1956
(8) Haverhill Cemetery, Ref.4156.
(9) Kelly's Directory 1888, Suffolk, Haverhill, p.994
(10) England & Wales, National Probate Calendar (Index of Wills and Administrations),1861-1941
(11) The Bury and Norwich Post, Tuesday, 26th June 1877, p.8, issue 4957, C19th British Library Newspapers: part II
(12) The Bury and Norwich Post, Tuesday, 26th December 1865, p.5, issue 4357 and Tuesday 16th January 1866, p.6, issue 4360, C19th British Library Newspapers: part II
(13) The Bury and Norwich Post, Tuesday, 23rd May 1882, p.8, issue 5213, C19th British Library Newspapers: part II
(14) The Bury and Norwich Post, Tuesday, June 27, 1882; pg. 8; Issue 5218. C19th British Library Newspapers: Part II